HEALTH & SAFETY

One question we are always asked, “Is it safe to travel to Central America”?
Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama are all safe destinations.

General Safety

They have stable government and tourism infrastructure. Petty crime does happen. You must be a smart traveler and avoid placing yourself or others at unnecessary risk, much as you would in your home country.

Be alert in your surroundings. Stay with your group. Do not give money to people on the street. Do not unnecessarily show objects of value on the street including: cellular phones, cameras, IPods, and other costly devices. You must obtain permission from your professor if you are going out at night. Do not purchase drugs. If you break a law you will be held accountable by the laws of the respective nation.

Housing

We at Explore505 only use known housing providers. These may include hotels, hostels or homestays depending on the needs of the particular group. We frequently use the same providers to maintain consistency with our programs. If we need to use a different provider we will visit and inspect the premises before allowing students to stay at a location. We value your safety and comfort while on your study abroad trip.

Food & Drink

If the program leader chooses an option that includes meals we provide food and drink at local restaurants that have been reviewed by our staff. If the program does not include meals we will happily direct the professor to safe locations to buy food and drinks for the group. Do not eat from street vendors. Avoid foods if you have known allergic reactions. Drink bottled water. Drink plenty of water. You are in the tropics and do not want to dehydrate. Use common sense when eating or drinking.

Vaccinations

Make sure you are up-to-date on routine vaccines before every trip. These vaccines include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot. You might want to ask your primary care physician about the following vaccinations: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid, Malaria, Yellow Fever and Rabies
If you are traveling from the US you might want to familiarize with the US CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommendations for the following countries.

Nicaragua
http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/nicaragua

Costa Rica
http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/costa-rica

Panama
http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/panama

Specific Information

Explore505 staff has vigorously reviewed all accommodations. 1-2 bilingual staff members will accompany students and faculty in all activities and will stay in the same accommodations. Unless otherwise requested we provide 24/7 supervision and assistance for academic programs.
Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama all have excellent healthcare should you need medical assistance on your trip. In our detailed reports to faculty leaders we provide all the necessary information for local medical facilities, police, fire departments, accommodations and other important detailed information.

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